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If you are an International student intending to travel to United Kingdom or have just arrived in the UK, you may want to browse through this page to obtain information about student life & student accommodation in the United Kingdom.






















Student Accommodation ( What options)

One of the important things that a student arriving in the United Kingdom will have to consider is accommodation. Finding suitable accommodation is not always easy and students should try and ensure that they have arranged accommodation before coming to UK, even if only temporary. This is of great importance for students with families as they may encounter some difficulty finding suitable accommodation.

Students looking for accommodation have a choice of three options depending on their circumstances and needs. 

Student accommodation offered by the college/university, usually in traditional halls of residence with shared facilities and catering provided, or increasingly, in self-catering halls or flats where students can prepare and cook. Majority of first year students choose to live in this type of accommodation which is mainly suitable for single students. 

Student Accommodation offered by Independent hostels, usually in single or shared rooms, some provide meals, often at subsidized rates while others provide kitchen facilities for self catering. Electricity, gas and water usage are generally included in the overall cost. In most cases a small furnished bedroom is provided with access to shared laundry, bathroom, lounge and other facilities.                                                                                                                                       

A Hostels that cater for students can be fully booked by the beginning of the academic year so it is important to make enquires before your arrival. Hostels are suitable for single students who are lonely and would like to meet other students in a similar situation. If you decide on hostel accommodation, look at two or three different ones and compare them before making a decision.        

Private rented accommodation is suitable for any type of student, many second and third year students prefer to live more independently in a self contained flat or house , which is usually shared with a group of friends. This type of accommodation can be in a lodging (renting a room from a landlord/lady and sharing facilities with them and their family, including eating) in the case of single student or a bed sit (renting a room in a house and sharing basic facilities with other tenants) or sharing with other students/friends in a property.          

Rented accommodation is most suitable for students with families. However arrangements for these type of accommodation cannot usually be made from abroad and many students prefer to visit such accommodations before they rent. Married students with families, should look for accommodation well in advance. It is usually best if only one member of the family comes to the UK to find accommodation, and the rest of the family follows later when arrangements have been made. Student accommodation UK has a list of Private accommodations for you to check. You can search for accommodation using our search facility and contact the landlord/lady and arrange meeting with them on your arrival to UK to save you time and effort when you arrive here in the United Kingdom.

Expenses (cost of living)                                                                              

A single student living in the United Kingdom will need enough to meet his/her basic living expenses such as accommodation costs, heating, food, daily travel, books and equipment and other necessities. It is difficult to put a figure on the total living expenditure because the amount will depend partly on your personal life style. However as a general guide only, such a student living outside of London will probably need approximately 600 a month. Although some might find it hard to maintain their usual standard of living on this amount. 

The following breakdown of costs is designed to give you some idea of how to estimate your living expenditure.


A weekly cost of food based on a western style of breakfast, a midday meal at the university in the week, an evening hot meal and weekend meals eaten at home is around 40-50 for a single person.  

The cost of an evening out will vary depending on the area, there is a wide range of places in many cities across the UK.

Inexpensive restaurant: lunch    5.00, dinner 10.00
Take-away: 3.00-5.00+
Cup of tea/coffee: 0.70-1.00
Beer (pint): 2.00
Glass of Wine: 2.00 minimum




Britain is a cool and damp place in the winter months and warm (rarely hot) in the summer. The winter months are usually cold and frosty, although temperatures rarely fall below freezing. The climate is largely unpredictable. The cost of clothing in an academic year is approximately 200-350. Dress in Britain, and British Universities is mostly informal. when you are invited to an occasion, It will usually be made clear to you that it may demand something more formal or smart.

On most campus sites and in residential areas you will have access to self service launderette, the cost of this service is approximately 5.00 per week.


Britain can be cold during the autumn and winter months, students coming from hot countries may need heating for as long as eight to nine months in the year. If you choose to live in private rented accommodation, the cost of heating will not be included in your rent.. Allow a minimum of 15.00 per  week for heating in the winter. Accommodation in university campus is inclusive of heating.

Books and Equipment

The cost of books in academic year 2000/2001 is approximately 200, however this figure varies according to your course. For certain courses, students are expected to provide their own calculator, and may be required to buy certain items of equipment. Check with your department to find out the extra costs anticipated. Stationery and photocopying will cost in the region of 50-100. 

Medical costs

Britain has a National Health Service (NHS) which is financed and run by the Government. If you are on a course lasting longer than six months you should be eligible for free treatment from the NHS, including hospital treatment, from the beginning of your stay. This also applies to your spouse and children under 16. However if your course is for less than six months you will not be entitled to NHS treatment and should take out appropriate medical insurance before you leave home. 

NHS prescription charges for medicines are currently 6.00 per item. All patients have to pay the standard prescription charge.


If you are eligible for National Health Service treatment, find a dentist practicing in the NHS and register with the dental practice.  National Health Service patients pay up to 80 per cent of the cost. Please note that dentists do have the right to insist you become a private patient, which means you have to pay for all your treatment.


If you need your eyes testing, or your doctor suggests it, you may go to any optician for an eye test. There is a charge for the test under the NHS, currently about 15. Opticians also have the right to insist you become a private patient. You have to pay for any lenses or frames for spectacles which are charged separately, cost varies from as little as 30.00 to over 200, depending on your choice of frame.

Council Tax

The Council Tax is a local government tax to pay for certain services such as the police, libraries, fire brigade and other public services. Full time students are exempt from paying this tax as are their spouse and dependants provided their conditions to remain in the United Kingdom prevent them taking paid employment or from claiming benefits. 

Transport - Other Expenses -Work                                                         

Public Transport

United Kingdom has reasonably a good public transport system, although prices are higher than some other European countries. Most private student accommodations tend to be close to universities. If you choose accommodation that is not within walking distance to your college find out how much it will cost to get there as you may end up paying as much as 2-4 a day (you can get weekly or monthly savers which saves you a few pounds). In London and other major cities you can get a day saver for the tube or trams which you can travel all day for as many times as you like about 3-4.

Taxis is expensive in the UK, a few miles journey could cost you 15 to 25 pound. Train are also not cheap. The UK has a number of train companies all running on the same track line, and the fares vary between train companies and the time of the week you travel. 

Private Car

The cost of running a private car is expensive and prices of new cars are also more expensive than other European countries, However the prices are coming down rapidly. Prices of second hand cars are also on a downward slide, however Before you think of buying a car you should know the cost involved.

Price of an average small new car  8,000 - 13,000

Price of an average small used car

Car Tax less than 1.2cc 110 per year
1.2cc and above 170 per year
Certificate of vehicle check (M.O.T)  (if passed) 15 - 30 per year
Car Insurance     (depending on the type of cover)  50-150

Petrol   (4 star or super)       

  0.87 per liter

Child Care

If you have young children, you will probably have to look after them yourselves as it is expensive. There are private day nurseries which take children under school age (5 years) but many have waiting lists and the costs can be as much as 70-90 per week for each child.

If your university has a child care facility, it will probably be the best and the cheapest. register your child as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.


If you have time for any entertainment, you will not be disappointed as there is lots of thinks to do in and around the university. Students can get some discounts on take away food, tickets and so on, by showing their union card. Most student union centres have bars and other entreating events that are cheap for students, however here is an idea of how much it might cost you.  

Cinema   3.50 - 5.50
Theatre    7.00 - 12.00 
Concert ticket   15.00-30.00







If you are on a full time course the demands of your course will not allow you much time to work. Also you need to satisfy the clearance officer that you have sufficient income without relying on part time or vacation employment. However, full time students may work part time for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time and 40 hours per week during the vacation. If you require information about the rules on permission to work, you should contact The Department of Education and Skills. A work permit for part time work may be given upon certain conditions.     


1. No British resident is available for the job

2. Work does not interfere with study

3. Student receives the standard rate of pay ( currently there is a national minimum wage 4.50/hour) 


If the student is granted permission to work, the spouse of that student may seek work without needing to obtain permission unless their passports are otherwise endorsed. If however, the dependant is granted 12 months or more leave to remain, he or she will be free to work. if shorter leave is granted they will be prohibited from working.



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